Monthly Archives: August 2015

Evolution of the Cherry Picker / Aerial Lift


You know those evolutionary progression pictures, the ones that show our early predecessors on all fours, then a few knuckle-dragging creatures, finally culminating it an upright, modern human being?

Kind of like this:



Well, that’s sort of how today’s heavy-duty aerial lifts “evolved.” But instead of natural selection, the aerial lift’s current attributes are more due to the old adage, “necessity is the mother of invention.”

So, the evolution of the aerial lift is a little less Darwin, and a little more design innovation.

From Cherry Pickers to the Age of Aerial Lifts – A Quick Trip Through Time

The first aerial lift actually wasn’t an aerial lift. In the early 20th century, when the agricultural boom was happening all over America (the Dust Bowl era of the 30s notwithstanding), devices called cherry pickers were used to elevate fruit harvesters high above the ground, with the idea of getting a better overall crop yield.

From there, typical ingenuity and innovation kicked in. By mid-century, the first aerial lifts were widely in use. And not just for orange groves and other similar environments – they were used for accessing anything from power lines to upper-floor windows to bridge spans. The aerial lift had truly arrived.

And just by following the product history of a company like JLG, it’s easy to see how seemingly small advancements – oscillating axles in the 80s, fuel-cell powered aerial lifts in the 90s and the first 150-foot lift just a few years ago – culminated in the sleek, dependable aerial lifts on the market today.

What does the future have in store for the aerial lift? We can’t wait to find out!

The history of the aerial lift is certainly interesting. And it’s hard to believe, but safety standards were just as “primitive” as the aerial lift itself back in the day. But since the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created, workplace safety standards are more regularly enforced.

And you can’t “enforce” something without fines, penalties and legal action. That’s just what will happen (and maybe worse) if your company slacks in the safety department. offers practical, universal pass-rate training material for your entire fleet of AWP, aerial lift and scissor lift workers.

We’re a preferred training partner for thousands of companies and individuals across the country. With affordable rates, effective & proven learning methods and lifetime support, why would you go anywhere else for aerial lift and fall protection training? To get started today, please visit the CMO contact page, or call our aerial lift OSHA consultants at (602) 277-0615.

Thanks for reading the CMO blog!

Different Ways to Use a Scissor Lift


Different Ways to Use a Scissor Lift

Scissor lifts are a type of aerial lift designed to allow people to work safely above ground. They can handle most types of work that normally require a ladder, tower or scaffolding. They also enable operators to complete jobs faster and safer without the setup time required of ladders and other equipment.

Primary benefits of scissor lifts include:

-Productivity. Workers complete jobs quicker because they can focus on the job rather than worrying about unstable supports.

-Flexibility. Scissor lifts can be used indoors and outdoors in many different environments and under varying work conditions.

-Compact Design. Scissor lifts don’t take up much space when retracted. This makes them easy to move around in cramped warehouses and storage sites.

-Ease of Transfer. Scissor lifts don’t have to be dismantled to move from one job site to another. They can be towed easily and safely when retracted.

Scissor lifts are one of the safest types of aerial lifts. The safety harness, cable, sturdy platform and railing all combine to provide a high level of safety for work performed at low to medium heights. Scissor lifts are also one of the most versatile types of industrial equipment. On job sites that require working above ground, they:

-Provide a safe, reliable way to lift workers and equipment into the air

-Provide access to hard-to-reach places

-Are ideal for lifting or moving heavy loads in confined spaces

-Can be used in a wide range of work situations

An Aerial Lift With Endless Uses

When most people think of scissor lifts, they think of specific uses such as landscape maintenance (tree trimming) and power line repair. However, scissor lifts are widely used in diverse industries. These include:



-Building maintenance


-Chemical processing

-Food processing


-Transportation and delivery


-Warehousing and storage

-Health care

For a tool that doesn’t do much more than go straight up and down, scissor lifts are used for an amazing number of job site applications. Common applications include:

-Construction. Scissor lifts provide flexible solutions for construction projects of all types and sizes. They can be used for installing windows, delivering tools and equipment to upper stories of tall buildings and much more. Their durable design makes them ideal for building renovation and general contracting.

-Delivery. Okay, scissor lifts aren’t actually used to deliver things. But they play a key role for delivery companies by fetching products from the shelves and getting them to the loading dock in a timely manner.

-Overhead signs. You’ll often see highway workers using scissor lifts to install or replace freeway signs. They are also used when hanging commercial signs on buildings and other free-standing objects.

-Railroads. What? Scissor lifts in railroad yards? You bet!  Railyard jobs such as loading and fitting into narrow spaces to reach up high require the use of scissor lifts every day.

-Retail. From the big-name stores to smaller operations, retailers use scissor lifts to move products around store and warehouse shelves. In warehouses, they are often used to change high overhead lights, repair ceilings and more.

-Transportation. Trucking distribution centers would struggle to operate without scissor lifts. Few tools are better at safely reaching and moving pallets, roll cages and parts stored at high levels when loading and unloading large trucks.

Some of the more unusual scissor lift applications include:

-Underside inspections. When repairing small vehicles, pieces of machinery or other devices, it’s often necessary to gain underside access. Special types of scissor lifts, called automotive lifts, are specifically designed to lift cars, trucks and other vehicles.

-Animal rescue. Do they really use scissor lifts to get cats down out of trees? It happens more often than you might think – and it’s safer than using a ladder. Also, scissor lifts can reach higher and access parts of trees ladders can’t get to.

-Sports venue setup. In sports arenas, scissor lifts provide safe, sturdy access when making repairs to overhead lighting and scoreboards. Game officials often use them to measure the 10-ft. height of basketball hoops.

-Observation. When monitoring large crowds, police and security firms often use scissor lifts to get a “birds-eye” view of the situation.

-Thrills and chills. Scissor lifts are even used for roller-coaster maintenance and repairs. Some repairs are performed on walkways built into the rides. Scissor lifts provide safe access to the-hard-to-reach areas that can’t be accessed from the walkways.

Safety and the Scissor Lift

When using a tool like a scissor lift, safety starts with giving operators the right training and certifications. As the online leader in scissor lift and aerial lift training, CertifyMeOnline offers fast, affordable training for scissor lift operators. Completing the online training assures instant certification. Cards can be instantly printed. And you get the peace of mind that comes from knowing your staff is properly trained.

Check out all we offer on the CertifyMeOnline contact page. Or call our aerial and scissor lift safety specialists directly at (602) 277-0615.